Those under age 35 – Millennials – are proving increasingly difficult to attract to the foodservice industry. All channels (except travel & leisure) lost visits from them in the third quarter of 2016. Total out-of-home traffic among the under-35s is down 2.4 percent, and we expect Millennial traffic to continue to fall as average prices continue to rise. For the under-35s, the average amount paid for a meal increased 3.1 percent in Q3 2016, driven by an increase in price per item, up 3.7 percent.
The 18-24s are driving this trend, with Q3 visits down 4.3 percent for them alone. Pubs and quick service restaurants lost the most visits from this age group. The non-commercial sector also suffered across both workplace and education.
Operators and suppliers cannot afford to continue losing visits from Millennials. This group is dictating current food trends, such as eating healthier and more vegetarian meals. By catering to their lower disposable incomes and fresh tastes, operators and suppliers can capture Millennials’ interest and potential loyalty for the future.
Since 1975, CREST®, NPD's flagship information service has monitored all aspects of how consumers use restaurants and foodservice by rigorously tracking visits to commercial and non-commercial foodservice establishments. CREST arms manufacturers and operators with market dynamics from the consumer perspective, allowing them to monitor the total foodservice industry or examine specific segments, categories, chains, or food items. CREST tracks consumer foodservice usage in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.